Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Amazing footage from 1896

Who said "The cinema is an invention without a future"?

Frenchman Louis Lumiere, inventor of the Cinematographe, a portable motion-picture camera, film processing unit and projector. Though not the first to projected film, (Edison 1891), himself and his brother were the first to present projected movies (1895) to a paying audience and so are the inventors of cinema. Their invention popularised the medium and does mark the beginning of the motion picture era.

Anyway that's who said it; but as you can see below, they had an eye for the eye-catching and that must surely have helped kick-start the new craze. The first motion picture ever was made by Eadweard Muybridge in 1878:
Lumiere Brothers Danse Serpentine 1896

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Rollin Safari

I don’t normally include animations, but this is brilliant. Congratulations to the students involved.

Directors: A. Habermehl, K. Buschor, C. Päplow
Producers: P. Wolf, V. Brüning
Technical Directors: T. Hartmann, S. Langer,
M. Kranzler, C. Westphal, D. Kirchner
Music: Stephan Schelens

FMX trailers are created by students of the Institute of Animation, Effects and Digital Postproduction at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How it goes - stages of decay

The Barracks, Cootehall

Time takes away. My own Roscommon home flattened, I don’t really want to go down the road I lived on; too many memories were flattened with it.

But sometimes time removes slowly and poignantly: the Barracks at Cootehall,Co Roscommon, immortalised  by John McGahern in “The Barracks” looks in good order today but the last garda gone, it now stands empty. What next?

Hanna Greally's Cottage
Hanna Greally as author of “Bird’s Nest Soup” recounted her almost 20 years incarceration in St Loman’s psychiatric hospital in Mullingar, “Mentally well, but unclaimed”. She eventually came to live in a cottage, "Sunny Acre", not far from Roscommon town. She died in 1987; her cottage is on its way back to oblivion.   
Ruins of Church, Kilgefin Graveyard

Bithia M Croker was the colossally successful author of books such as “The Road to Mandalay”, “Babes in the Wood”, “In Old Madras”. Born in Kilgefin, Co Roscommon, where her father was rector, she and her books are now almost forgotten in spite of huge popularity in the 40’s. The remains of her father’s ministry have all but disappeared and with them all marks that she ever had connections with this part of the world.

There are no indications that Croker or Greally ever existed at these sites, and that is a pity. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013


It was the time of Afton and Albany,
Joe O’Neill’s band and the Adelaides,
hay forks sharing pub windows
with Daz and Persil; the Smithwicks sign
and the Harp sign, half-ones of Guinness.

It was a time of pipe-smoking
beneath naked bulbs and neon strips,
the priest in his cassock,
Hillman Hunters, Ford Corsairs,
Wilkinson Swords and Fruit Gums.

Of scarved heads at mass, berets,
the Messenger and the Far East,
dress makers and blacksmiths;
hollowed faces in the County Home,
yanks in the sitting room.

(previously pub in Cyphers)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Corrupting Religion

I saw this religious ceremony on the main evening news when  the first cruise missiles were being deployed in Europe.

Cruise Missiles          

Jesus, the padre prayed,
direct these missiles onto the heads
of our enemies.

Except that’s not what he said. He said
we pray that these missiles will be efficient
in their function.

Then. Up Jesus,
ride them clean down their throats.
Except, of course, he didn’t say that either;

but blessed them with holy water.
After that, the missiles were dispatched,
American missionaries to Europe.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Worthy Cause And You Can Help

A friend of mine has sent this message to me. It's not an area I know much about but I have inquired and it is a cause that urgently needs to be redressed. The petition (link below) is genuine and the situation described is true.

A campaign against speculation with food prices is being circulated  in "After the real state bubble burst investors moved to speculate with raw materials and basic commodities. This is understood to significantly contribute to the spike in food prices that was behind the 2007-2008 and current food crisis. 450 economist worldwide petitioned G20 leaders to introduce stricter regulations in stock exchanges in order to curb the effect of speculation on food prices. A rise in prices is devastating to those in developing countries, as they spend between 50-80% of their income on food. There is cause for some optimism as some regulating measures have been introduced in the American and European markets. These are, however, understood not to be sufficient.

I believe this is an urgent matter and that we can put pressure on our governments and leaders to act decisively. At the very least it will serve to publicise this seldom mentioned factor in famines. That is why I am doing something rather uncharacteristic…….” I’m asking you to sign this petition and send it off to others, blog it or put it on Facebook."

Saturday, February 2, 2013

An Extraordinary Anti-War Speech

This anti-war speech made in 2008 by war veteran Mike Prysner is extraordinary for its bravery, lucidness and honesty.

It seems to me that the powerful are so insulated from true answerability that the people are no longer rigorous at all in demanding proper morals and standards from our leaders. We seem to have reached such levels of complacency that we applaud the style, disregarding the substance. And so, a succession of patently self-serving leaders has waltzed through various corridors of power in recent years and no doubt will continue to.